Final Visual Abstract and some rethinking

Final iteration of the Visual Abstract

The Visual Abstract was intended to demonstrate the necessity of society to change its mode of inhabitation in response to the dangers of climate change. The main idea is that man is still trapped in an archaic mode of inhabitation, which maintains its attachment to the ground as the datum line of reality. With vertical density growing rapidly, the use of the ground as a singular circulatory plane is inefficient and illogical. The ground is more than a foundation of our built environment, it represents the ecology that our civilization depends on. There are also inherent criticisms of political and bureaucratic systems that contribute to a reactive, rather than proactive, attitude towards drastic changes in man’s mode of inhabitation. The issue of sea level rise is used as a mechanism that has the opportunity to lead to a forced rethinking of the way in which man inhabits. Prior to this we had to write and submit a one-paragraph thesis statement.

The image seemed unsuccessful to me because, although addressing sea level rise and inhabitational change, it failed to visually represent the sociopolitical criticisms that are to me the most important. This thinking was further compounded after an in class discussion on Friday in my Thesis Research class, and even further compounded after I finally got a chance on Sunday to read a newly purchased copy of Pamphlet Architecture 14: Mosquitoes.

After finding myself more interested in criticizing the mechanisms and tendencies of today’s society, I am wondering if my thesis shouldn’t address how to rebuild society in what actually seems to be a more utopian dream, but should address how to subversively tear it down. MOSQUITOES argues that there is a noxious gas that chokes our intelligence, imagination, and individuality, and the only ways to save oneself are to equip yourself with an Analog, an -ism proof, free thinking causing, question inciting, technological mechanism, or to escape to geopolitically isolated, mobile communities known as Renegade Cities.

The more I think about it, the more there seems to be a line of thinking that has actually stretched back to a struggle I witnessed occurring in our studio, which was the struggle between creativity and production. The studio was aimed at the comprehensive design of a building, from concept design to the design of HVAC and mechanical systems. The idea of production was drilled into the heads of the students, and to cope, most turned to BIM software that could produce all of the imagery required, plans, sections, elevations, renderings, in a shorter amount of time, and because more students worked with it, the more it became a design tool. The factors of time management and software ability compounded to result in a stunning number of average and poor projects, complete with all of the necessary drawings and renderings of a good project, but without the ideas.

As a result of this experience, I read a solid portion of Architecture In the Age of Divided Representation, which just so happened to be subtitled: The question of creativity in the shadow of production, and although the idea of production was different (rushed production in studio versus proliferated production in building industry) the main idea was generally the same, that societal creativity has been undermined by short sighted, profit questioning, self interest groups. Even beginning this thesis, the work that has interested me the most was by far the work of Archigram, and I think it was just as much about the societal commentary as the visionary and creative architectural and technological solutions.

Ultimately, it seems to me what happened was that I started with a desire for polemics, but I was not entirely sure how to turn that desire into a thesis, so I attempted to combine it with other ideas about responding to sea level rise and ecological urbanism, and it probably could have turned into a thesis, but I think I would like to brainstorm on these topics and probably rewrite the thesis statement.

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About Bryan Premont

I am currently pursuing a Masters of Architecture at Wentworth Institute of Technology.
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